Not Marketed To Do Takeout, Brooklyn Restaurant Turns To Social Media To Take Orders During Latest COVID-19 Surge – CBS New York

0
113


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn restaurant that has been dealing with delays and problems on top of the rise in COVID-19 cases is pivoting to enable its survival.

After months of setbacks, the owner decided to take a new approach, CBS2’s Leah Mishkin reported Monday.

READ MORE: Gov. Hochul Revives Plan To Make Alcohol To-Go Permanent In New York, But Opponents Lining Up

Brooklyn native Calvin Eng said opening a Cantonese-American restaurant has been his goal for a while. He took the plunge roughly 10 months ago and signed a lease in Williamsburg. His first day of service was Dec. 3.

Bonnie’s was supposed to open this summer, but inspections, waiting for gas, and the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused delays.

“I had to park probably like three houses down because I couldn’t drive any further,” Eng said, adding when asked if there was flooding in the restaurant, “No, only our basement, fortunately.”

COVID VACCINE

On Friday, he was going to celebrate two weeks of service. But two hours before opening, plans changed. His team decided to move to an all-takeout model, instead of dine-in with proof of vaccination.

“What made you make that call to say, ‘OK, you know what? Now is the moment. Let’s just stop and go to takeout?’” Mishkin said.

“Honestly, it was all the management team putting our brains together. It was just too risky. We know too many people who are boosted who were testing positive,” Eng said.

READ MORE: Some Restaurants, Broadway Shows Forced To Close Temporarily Due To COVID-19 Cases, Testing

Chef Eng said the restaurant was never supposed to be a takeout place. It wasn’t on any delivery sites and didn’t have a pickup option on its website. So it used what it had — social media.

“I was taking orders through Instagram DMs. My GM was calling all the reservations to cancel them. My sous chef was getting all the cooks ready, getting all the takeout boxes ready,” Eng said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The 27-year-old said through all the…